Luol Deng keeps surviving

February, 27, 2015
Feb 27
5:10
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Abbott By Henry Abbott
ESPN.com
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Amin Elhassan discusses Luol Deng and all of the ugliness that he has been subjected to in his life, including racist remarks this past summer.

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ESPN Chalk's Erin Rynning takes a look at Friday's Miami-New Orleans and Oklahoma City-Portland matchups.

Michael Beasley returns to Heat

February, 26, 2015
Feb 26
1:06
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MIAMI -- Looking for help for the stretch run, the Miami Heat turned to a familiar face.

Michael Beasley is with the Heat for a third time, signing a 10-day contract on Thursday with the team that drafted him with the No. 2 overall pick seven years ago.

He said returning to the Heat feels "like I never left, honestly."

Beasley participated in an optional practice in New Orleans on Thursday, working on his shooting and adding a soaring one-handed dunk before walking off the court. He expects to be in uniform against the Pelicans on Friday night.

"I feel great," Beasley said. "I'm definitely blessed and humbled for yet another opportunity, and I'm ready to take it by storm."

Beasley's addition comes less than a week after the Heat learned they would lose All-Star forward Chris Bosh for the remainder of the season because of blood clots on a lung. Miami (25-31) entered Thursday in the No. 7 spot in the Eastern Conference standings.

Beasley spent this season in China, putting up monster numbers, including a 59-point performance in his league's all-star game. He said he's returned to the NBA a wiser, more patient player who has emphasized trying to "slow down, let the game come. I focus on trying to make the whole group better."

"I'm still explosive. It's just about when to use it and how to use it," Beasley added. "I've just learned a lot about myself, learned a lot about my body and the most efficient ways I can move to help the team, and I just want to show it."

He has been working out in Miami for several days, even practicing in the team facility -- a courtesy that the team extended to him, and a sign that yet another Beasley reunion could be looming.

Now it's official, with Beasley wearing a team T-shirt as he signed his contract on Thursday.


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Luol Deng's path of righteousness

February, 26, 2015
Feb 26
6:44
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MIAMI -- On good days, the worst hurled at Luol Deng in grade school were the racist slurs a Sudanese refugee child was far too young to comprehend yet never quite able to forget.

Samara, meaning black.

Hunga bunga, mockery for ape.

Shakshuka, epithet from a cheap north African meal.

On bad days, those classroom slurs escalated to slinging fists in the schoolyard.

"It was just constant," Deng, a Miami Heat forward, says 25 years later. "I had this one teacher, and as I got older and translated things he used to say, it was racist and hatred stuff he was saying toward me and my brother. A lot of times, we fought because of that stuff."

Yet this was the better life.

This was the safe haven -- the relative oasis -- during the early 1990s in Alexandria, Egypt, where Deng and eight siblings fled without their parents to escape a decades-long civil war in their native Sudan between the Muslim north and Christian south. Luol's father, Aldo Deng, was a Sudanese government official who, according to British media reports, was jailed in 1989 during a violent coup by Muslim rebels who imposed Sharia law.

Released after three months, Aldo and his wife Martha put their children on a plane to sneak to Egypt under the care of the eldest siblings, who would work and live as refugees. Luol's memory is sketchy from those moments at age 4, but he's heard stories of everyone "waking up at night and leaving all of our belongings behind to get onto a plane, hoping and praying they wouldn't figure out who our father was."

Aldo and Martha then escaped to Europe seeking asylum -- a search that ultimately separated the Deng family for five years, connected only by the struggle they endured a continent apart.


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ORLANDO, Fla. -- Luol Deng had 21 points, Dwyane Wade added 18 and the Miami Heat rallied to defeat the Orlando Magic 93-90 in overtime Wednesday night.

Hassan Whiteside added 15 points and 13 rebounds. The Heat have won three of four and improved to 3-1 since losing Chris Bosh for the season with a blood clot in his lung.

The Magic squandered an eight-point lead with less than a minute play in the fourth quarter, allowing the Heat to send the game to extra time.

Nik Vucevic had all five of the Magic's point in overtime, and finished with 26 points and eight rebounds. Victor Oladipo had 13 points and a career -high 13 rebounds.

Orlando struggled from the free throw line, going just 18 for 31 for the game.


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Gordon's Shoe Struggles

February, 25, 2015
Feb 25
8:26
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Magic forward Aaron Gordon struggled in the second quarter when he lost his shoe, put up a terrible shot, then committed a foul against the Heat.

TrueHoop TV Live

February, 25, 2015
Feb 25
12:00
PM ET
Strauss By Ethan Sherwood Strauss
ESPN.com
Archive
We're chatting at 2 p.m. ET.

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Bill Simmons, Jalen Rose, and Ryen Russillo break down nos. 33-31, the "Don't Tell Anyone, And I'll Deny It to the Death, But I'm Listening" group. These are stars like Chris Bosh and Dwight Howard, who are supposed to be off the table but aren't.

Perkins picked Cavs for LeBron

February, 24, 2015
Feb 24
8:46
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[+] EnlargeKendrick Perkins
Mark D. Smith/USA TODAY SportsKendrick Perkins said he chose to join the Cavaliers for the opportunity to play with LeBron James.

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Newly-acquired Kendrick Perkins suited up for the Cleveland Cavaliers for the first time on Tuesday against the Detroit Pistons.

But before he slipped on his new No. 3 uniform the center explained how his decision where to continue his career came down to either joining his former coach, Doc Rivers, and the Los Angeles Clippers, or joining his former AAU teammate, LeBron James.

"It was extremely hard," said Perkins who finalized his contract with Cleveland earlier in the day after agreeing to a buyout from the Utah Jazz on Monday. "(Rivers) was real honest with me, he told me, 'I think your best two situations right now is either us or Cleveland.' So I was like, Doc? Or I have a chance to go play with The King. Doc? The King? Uh, I choose The King."

James and Perkins teamed up in high school for the Oakland (Calif.) Soldiers AAU squad before having several postseason battles in the pros.


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NBA Free Agency Look Ahead

February, 24, 2015
Feb 24
8:38
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Amin Elhassan broke down the top free agents in the upcoming NBA offseason and discussed which players have the best chances of changing teams.

NBA Top Plays

February, 24, 2015
Feb 24
1:30
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James Harden crossing up Ricky Rubio and making him look silly is the top play in the NBA.

Heat Burn 76ers

February, 23, 2015
Feb 23
10:15
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Goran Dragic and Luol Deng combined to score 52 points in the Heat's 119-108 win over the 76ers.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Chris Bosh
PTS AST STL MIN
21.1 2.2 0.9 35.4
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsH. Whiteside 9.2
AssistsG. Dragic 5.3
StealsM. Chalmers 1.6
BlocksH. Whiteside 2.4